Northside mock trial team preps for Yale trip

Photo Credit: KLFY

(The Daily Advertiser) – If everything goes as planned, Northside High’s mock trial team will head to Yale University at the end of September for a nationwide competition.

Delonda Richardson, director of Northside’s legal studies academy, said it appears the team has raised enough money to make the trip.

“We’re still taking donations to help us cover additional trips to other competitions,” Richardson said. “As for Yale, there is a strong likelihood that we will be about to make it.”

The invitation-only competition will allow nine Northside students to perform mock trials against 24 other teams from across the country.

“It’s going to be a great learning experience for the students, and they will also receive a lot of workshop experience that will help us in regional and state competitions,” she said.

By early August, the Northside team had received information on the case they will have to present during the competition.

“It’s a criminal case,” Richardson said. “The students have to prepare both sides of the case, so they have to know everything about the plaintiff and the defendant. Once we arrive at the competition, we have no idea who we will be competing against. We don’t know if we’ll be the defendant or the plaintiff. The students have to be prepared for either side, and make sure they have all the evidence and questions prepared.”

Richardson said the students must also have opening and closing statements prepared.

When not competing, the Northside students will have a chance to learn from Yale’s national award-winning mock trial team.

“They will be the ones to coach the students and the other teams,” Richardson said. “Once they have finished the competition, they will go to some seminars and receive pointers on things they can do better. It’s going to help all of the students, including those who are looking at pre-law or criminal justice. They can all take these pointers and apply it to other cases.”

The Northside team will leave Sept. 30 and return Oct. 3.

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